Can’t Seem to Stick With Your Commitments? Try Making a Pact. - Deepstash
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What Is A Pact?

What Is A Pact?

A pact is a precommitment to an outcome that acts as a firewall against distraction. You can think of it as a sort of “habit bet .” It helps you stay on track by setting huge consequences if you don't.


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How Does It Work?

How Does It Work?

This technique nearly guarantees you’ll follow through on any commitment you choose to make. As Nir Eyal wrote about in his book, he made a “burn or burn ” pact to finally get himself to start exercising regularly. His precommitment: He would either burn some calories by exercising daily or burn a $100 bill. Today, at 43, he says that he is in the best shape of his life.


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Why pacts work

Why pacts work

A pact, like a protest slogan, is urgent, specific, and has a serious and unavoidable consequence.

Follow the following format of a good protest slogan to create an effective pact. 👇


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1. What do you want?

Name a specific action.

The best pacts are based on concrete behavior, not aspirations. Don’t set a vague goal like “live healthfully,” “save money,” or “spend more time with my family.” Name a very specific behavior you expect yourself to do.

For example, "I will write 3 pages of manuscript every day".


121 reads

When do you want it?

Give yourself a specific time frame.

Deciding in advance when you will do what you say you will is called setting an implementation intention , and studies have found that it’s a critical step in accomplishing your goals. To do what you want, you must set aside the time now.

For example, "I will write 3 pages of manuscript every day between 7 am and 10 am".


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Or Else?

Or Else?

Define a consequence.

The most important part of a pact is the consequence of inaction. A precommitment acts as a firewall against distraction by imposing a cost to going off track. It’s the fear of not doing what you say, which provides the extra motivation to follow through.

For example, "I will cut a cake if I follow through. If I don't, I will cut my hair".


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